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Italian passport: get one and become an Italian Citizen

The Italian passport is the identification and travel document issued, upon request, to Italian citizens. It can be used to proof national identity for the purpose of international travel.

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With this guide you are going to get an overview on how to apply for the Italian passport, how to renew it if expired, costs and more.

According to the international ranking, the Italian passport is one of the strongest passports in the world. In fact, not only it allows for free movement and residence in all EU member States – as well as in the European Economic Area and in Switzerland – but it also allows visa free access for its citizens in many countries worldwide.  

Italian passport introduction and benefits

Who qualifies for an Italian passport?

Italy grants the Italian citizenship, and therefore the Italian passport, based on several cases: birth on Italian territory, by descent, legal residence and more.  

If you are interested in becoming an Italian citizen but you don’t know if you qualify, you might find more information in our dedicated article on Italian citizenship.  

What does an Italian passport look like?

Italian passports have the common design of European passports, but with the emblem of Italy stamped on the front cover.

overview on the Italian passports: costs, benefits, application and how to renew the Italian passport

The current regulations provide for the following types of passports:  

  • The ordinary passport (made of 48 pages) – it has replaced previous passport models. It uses modern technologies such as anti-counterfeiting printing and a microprocessor containing the data of the holder and the issuing authority, to provide high security standards.
  • The temporary passport (made of 16 pages) – it is a paper-format emergency document expressly provided for in Regulation (EC) No. 444 of 2009.   

The biographical data are usually included on page 2, which contains also other important information such as:

  • photo of passport holder;
  • passport number;
  • name and surname of the holder;
  • place and date of birth;
  • sex and nationality;
  • date of issue;
  • date of expiration.  

The following pages are usually dedicated to visa stamping.  

Italian passport visa-free countries

Every foreign country has the choice to apply administrative entry restrictions to holders of certain passports.  

As of today, holders of an Italian passport enjoy visa-free access to 194 countries and territories. This ranks the Italian passport among the most powerful ones in terms of travel freedom.  

How many places can you go with an Italian passport?

Italian passports holders can check the entry requirements of their destination countries by consulting the dedicated website of the Ministry of Foreign affairs.

However, it is important to mention that, while Italians may be visa free for short term visits, a relevant visa and residence permit is usually required for long stays or permanent relocations.  

Also, the visa exemption is strictly related to the type of visit. Italians may be visa free for touristic visits to certain destinations, but in case of work assignments a specific short-term work visa must be applied before travelling.

How to apply for the Italian Passport

Once you have assessed that you meet all the requirements specific to your case, you can start your Italian passport application.

What is the fastest way to get an Italian passport?

If you are a foreigner and want to apply for an Italian passport, you might be interested to know that there are different ways in which you can apply.  

Applying by descent (through “right of blood”) is usually the fastest option

Italian passport by descent 

You can apply for the Italian passport by descent if you have Italian ancestors (parents, grandparents, great grandparents etc.). This is also known as the Italian Citizenship by Descent.

Please note that, in case of maternal descent, some limitations apply with regards to verifying the maternal line.

Italian passport by marriage

Foreigners can get the Italian Passport by marriage if married to Italian Citizens. Application for Italian Citizenship by marriage is subject to some Italian language requirements.

To understand the process and application requirements, check our article on the Italian citizenship by marriage

Italian passport by residency   

Also called “citizenship by naturalization”, the Italian passport by residency is applicable to foreigners who have been legally resident in Italy for a minimum number of years.   

To understand the process and application requirements, check our article on the Italian citizenship by residency.  

Can I have 3 passports in Italy?

Contrary to some other countries in the world that allow to hold one citizenship only, Italy allows multiple citizenship.

Specifically, article 11 of Italian Law of February 5th 1992, No. 91, provides that: 

“The citizen who owns, obtains or re-obtains a foreign citizenship retains the Italian one, but he or she can renounce to it if he resides or established his or her residency abroad”. 

This means that applicants who want to get the Italian citizenship do not mandatorily need to give up their original citizenship during the process. This is called dual citizenship.  

How do I book an appointment for my Italian passport?

As a general rule, the application for issuing a passport shall be submitted to the territorially competent office based on the applicant’s residence, in Italy or abroad.  

If you are resident outside of Italy, you can apply for the Italian passport at the Italian diplomatic representation (Consulate or Embassy) in your country of residence. To secure an appointment with the Consulate, you usually have to use the Prenot@MI website. However, the appointment booking process may differ from Consulate to Consulate.  

If you are a resident of Italy, you will need to apply for the passport at the local police headquarters competent for your residency.  

However, in particular cases, the passport may be issued by an office other than the office of residence. In such cases prior authorization shall be obtained from the office (Police headquarters or Consulate) competent for residency. The authorization shall be express, so it should be borne in mind that this could make the whole processing time longer.

Italian passport requirements

What documents do I need to apply for an Italian passport?

To apply for the Italian Passport you should provide the following documents:

  • Passport application form, duly completed and signed by the person concerned;
  • An identity document in accordance with Presidential Decree 445/2000;
  • 2 recent photographs (identical, frontal, in colour, format 35 x 40 mm);
  • Receipt of payment of the cost of the passport booklet and administrative fee;
  • In case of children under the age of 18, an affidavit of consent to the issuance of the document by the parents.

In case of issuing a first passport for a newborn, and where the minor’s birth certificate is not already transcribed in Italy, it is necessary to first register the birth act with the Italian civil registry office.  

Do you have to speak Italian to get an Italian passport?

Speaking Italian is not a legal requirement to apply for the Italian passport. However, it may be a requirement for certain types of Italian citizenship’s applications.  

What is the duration of Italian passport?

The validity of the ordinary Italian passport differs depending on the holder’s age:  

  • 3 years for minors under 3 years of age;
  • 5 years for minors from 3 to 18 years of age;
  • 10 years for adults.

Expired passports can no longer be renewed, meaning that the applicant must apply for a new passport.  

Italian passport fees

How much does a passport cost in Italy?

The current cost to apply for the Italian Passport booklet is €42,50 plus an administrative fee of €73,50.  

However, there are also cases in which the passport is issued free of charge, such as:

  • If the applicant is considered an emigrant within the meaning of Consolidated Law No. 2205 of November 13, 1919; 
  • If the applicant living abroad requires consular repatriation or returns to perform voluntary military service;  
  • If the applicant is a minister of religion or a religious missionary; 
  • Others.

Italian passport renewal

How to renew Italian passport

In case you run out of pages for visa stamping on your passport, you will need to renew your Italian passport.  

The procedure to renew the Italian Passport is the same as for issuing an ordinary passport. Also, the cost to renew the Italian Passport is usually the same as the first time.

Can I renew my Italian passport online?

It is possible to book an appointment for the passport application online. However, the applicant will then need to attend the appointment in person with the requested documents.  

Italians who are registered with AIRE must usually be book their appointment through the Prenot@MI website.

In some exception cases of documented urgency, the authorities may accept the application without an appointment. Urgency must usually be certified by serious family or personal health reasons, certified by public or private facilities, or need to assist a family member, or unavoidable business urgencies certified by the employer.

How to get an emergency travel document

The Emergency Travel Document (ETD) is a temporary travel document with a validity of 5 days including the date of issue. It can be issued if the applicant has no valid identification document for travel. 

The ETD is usually used only for return to Italy or to the EU Member State where the applicant has permanent residence as per AIRE registration. For its issuance, the applicant’s presence at the Consulate is required.

Regulatory Framework

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Reference

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Types of Italian Citizenship

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